Brass bands and Arabian horses, Alaskan sled dogs and hot air balloons, soldiers and sailors decked out in their military finest and the best foot-stompers in the nation -- everything is in place for President-elect Ronald Reagan's inaugural parade Tuesday past an anticipated 150,000 spectators along Pennsylvania Avenue.
Everything, that is, save for one rather dirty detail: There will be no clean-up crews on duty during this meticulously-planned event to scoop up an estimated 100 to 150 droppings that the parade's 500 animals are expected to leave behind.
After the parade, workers from the District of Columbia's sanitation department and the U.S. Park service will clear the area of manure and other litter, but not before brass bands and marchers, including the 300-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir, travel over the route behind the animals.
"No, we didn't plan on that," said Bill Hart, spokesman for the parade committee. "But I don't think it's going to be any big deal, really. Horses are basically unpredictable animals. It's part of having parades."
"In a lot of parades there are what you call tailwashers traveling behind the animals to do the dirty work," said Afton Cox, a frequent tailwasher, and wife of an equestrian participant. "They didn't ask us to bring along any sweepers this time."
"I believe it has something to do with security," explained Francis Cox, leader of the Sacramento Mounted Police, which served as Reagan's honor guard during his term as governor of California. "They don't want more people in the procession than what has to be there."
There will be plenty of horses, including Andalusians, palominos, Shetland ponies, Belgians, Arabians, quarter horses, black stallions and Percherons, that were shipped to the Washington area from all parts of the country. Most of the horses have been staying at Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George's County, where owners have leased space for $4 a night.
A total of 29 different equestiran teams were invited to participate in the parade, a reflection, organizers said, of Reagan's "love of horses and his own equestrian background."
"Heck, I like horses too, but I don't like to walk in their . . ." said one band marcher from South Carolina who identified himself only as J. R.
The parade, whose theme is "America -- A Great New Beginning," also features 24 Alaskan Huskie sled dogs, which were flown here from Anchorage on a Boeing 747 jet freighter.
The parade will begin at 2:15 p.m. at the West Front of the Capitol and proceed along Pennsylvania Avenue to a reviewing stand across from the White House. Spectators may line the avenue for free from Fourth to 13th streets NW. Organizers said that several thousand of the 25,000 bleacher seats located closer to the White House, and priced between $15 and $100 a seat, still remained late yesterday. Metro will be operating on a Saturday schedule inaugruation day with a flat 60 cent fare for all passengers.
Organizers said the procession will last about an hour and 15 minutes in keeping with Reagan's request for a "short, snappy parade." The entire work force of the D.C. Police department, and many officers of the Secret Service, FBI, Capitol and White House police will provide security for the event which, to some, represents the highlight of inaguration day's large array of official celebrations.
In fast-paced, 110-steps-per-minute cadence, 8,000 figures -- men, women, children, and animals -- will troop up Pennsylvania carrying flags, shouting marching drills, carrying riders, pulling sleds, hammering drums, and blowing brass. It will start with 50 horsemen on black stallions carrying state flags. It will follow with two floats, hundreds of stern military marchers, and 5,000 hot air balloons.
New York City's Mounted Police, the Cardozo High School marching band, the coonskin-capped Bill Williams Mountain Men of Arizona, the "Highty Tighties" of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and Gen. Omar Bradley will traverse the route.
In the end there will be the show-stopping Mormon choir, which will stop before Reagan on the reviewing stand and lead the crowd in a rendition of the "Battle Hymm of the Republic."
"No, they won't actually walk the entire route," said Beverly Campbell, a local Mormon who has been helping the 300 choralists get situated in Washington at the homes of church members. "Their feet won't touch the street. They'll be on a kind of mobile trailer."
As for the animal droppings, organizers and horse riders said a parade wouldn't be a parade without horses. In 1805 Thomas Jefferson became the first newly-elected president to ride up Pennsylvania Avenue on horseback and every inaugural parade in Washington since that one has included fanfare, military marchers infull regalia, horses and horse manure.
"Usually, a little more than maybe 20 percent of the horse will, uh, you know, during the parade," said Col. Frederick Lane of Indiana's Culver Military Academy, whose black horse troop will be among the leaders of the parade. "Most parades do provide that sort of sweep-up thing behind the horses, but it won't be a terribly big problem if they don't have it here."
Cox, the Sacramento equestrian, added that he would do what he could to limit the bowel movements of his group's 25 palominos. Every parade, there's marchers on foot who'll complain about the stuff. What we do is we don't feed the horses any bran or anything else in the morning that will loosen 'em up."
"Actually, the city's sanitation people came by here to pick up special credentials to work during the parade," said D.C. Police spokesman Lt. Hiram Brewton. "But we didn't have anything for them. They certainly don't need credentials to clean up after everyone's gone home."
That could be a little too late for Phil Moore, 75, an honorary marching member of the Barons marching band of Fountain Valley (Calif.) High School, which will parade not far behind the Alaskan Huskies and the Hella Horse Patrol of Dallas, Texas.
"I've been marching in parades going on 48 years now," said he, "and every one I go to I slip and slide in the stuff. Sure does give the crowd a good show."